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TV series Marsman, directed by Mathias Sercu and Eshref Reybrouck, has been selected for Official Competition at this year’s FIPA, the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels held in Biarritz, France, from 20-25 January. Also showing is top European crime series The Team, which is a co-production with Flanders. Lieven Corthouts’s cross-media documentary project Emergency Exit has been selected for Smart FIP@, while Before The Last Curtain Falls – a co-production with Flanders – is also part of the programme. Finally, the Screen Flanders-supported BBC series The Missing is to receive a special screening.
Eleven international series are competing in FIPA’s Fiction Competition this year, including Flemish series Marsman, which won a Prix Italia at the end of 2014. A tragicomedy, it follows 40-year-old Nico Marsman who struggles to find a way to get his life back on track.
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has announced this year’s Wildcard winners: six promising young filmmakers who will each receive a grant of between €25,000 and €60,000 to develop their first professional film. Raphaël Crombez and Miwako Van Weyenberg were winners in the fiction section, with Ruben Desiere and Kwinten Gernay each receiving a documentary Wildcard. The animation grant went to Laura Vandewynckel, with Christina Stuhlberger getting the Wildcard in the filmlab section.
Since it was introduced in 2005, the Fund’s competition has established itself as Belgium’s prime awards programme when it comes to launching new talent. Six grants are handed out: three worth €60,000 go to one animation project and two fiction shorts; the two documentary winners each get €40,000; and the Wildcard in the filmlab section comes with a prize of €25,000.
Violet by Bas Devos and Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August have both been selected for competition at this year’s Torino Film Festival (21-29 November). Emilie Verhamme’s feature film debut Eau Zoo will have its international premiere at the Festival, while In Your Name, co-produced with Flanders, and Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop are also part of the line-up.
After stops in Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Montreal and Los Angeles, Violet now heads for Turin, where it is to screen in the Torino 32 competition programme. Screening in the TFFDOC documentary competition, meanwhile, is Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August. Emilie Verhamme’s Eau Zoo receives its international premiere at the Torino Film Festival.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary Waiting for August is one of six nominees for this year’s European Film Award for Best Documentary. Mihai’s debut film about a Romanian teenager in charge of the family household has been receiving critical acclaim worldwide since its premiere in Toronto this year.
Shot in a direct, fly-on-the-wall style, Mihai’s documentary focuses on the life of 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning money in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August has been awarded the prize for Best International Documentary at the Hot Springs International Documentary Festival in Arkansas, USA. The film also screened in Australia at the Antenna Documentary Festival, where it was similarly honoured as Best International Documentary.
International praise has kept on coming for Mihai since her documentary debut Waiting for August first made its appearance at the prestigious Hot Docs film festival in April. The film won the International Feature Award there, after which it travelled on to win awards in Karlovy Vary, at Kosovo’s Dokufest, and at the international film festivals of Budapest (Hungary), Bergen (Norway), Astra (Romania), Valdivia (Chile) and Reykjavik (Iceland). Waiting for August has also had theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles.
Elephant’s Dream, a documentary feature by Kristof Bilsen, is to have its world premiere at DOK Leipzig, the International Film Festival for Documentary and Animation Film (27 October – 2 November). Joining it in competition is Sofie Benoot with Desert Haze; three of Wendy Morris’s animation shorts have also been selected. Completing the Flemish line-up this year are the animation short films Diamond, Cash Register 9 and Vol au vent.
Kristof Bilsen’s new documentary film Elephant’s Dream has been confirmed for Leipzig’s Young Cinema Competition, a collection of first, second or third documentaries. Bilsen focuses on a group of public sector workers at a railway station, a post office and the only fire station in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the microcosm of these three state-owned institutions, Bilsen provides a poetic and compassionate insight into a country in transition.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August has been awarded the prize for Best International Documentary at the Bergen International Film Fest in Norway, while the jury of the Reykjavik Film Festival presented the film with its Environmental Award. The film is currently in theatres in Los Angeles and has a New York release scheduled later this month.
Both prizes follow just a week after Waiting for August picked up yet another award at the Budapest Film Festival, where it screened in the ‘Let Them Be Children’ section. The Bergen International Film Festival in Norway (24 September–1 October) selected the film for its international documentary competition.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August received the Award for Best Documentary Film during the closing ceremony of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July). The film has been on a winning spree since receiving the Best International Feature Award at Toronto’s Hot Docs and a Special Mention at Visions du Réel earlier this year.
Waiting for August marks Teodora Ana Mihai’s debut as a feature film director. Her Romanian roots led her back to her mother country. In a social housing block on the outskirts of the city of Bacau, 15-year-old Georgiana lives with her six siblings. While their mother is away, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family.
Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August will compete in the documentary competition at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July), Eastern Europe’s foremost festival. Also invited is Violet by Bas Devos, whose feature debut is set to screen in Another View, the programme dedicated to films with an unusual artistic approach.
The documentary competition in Karlovy Vary consists of 10 feature-length films and six shorts. Waiting for August follows Georgiana Halmac, a 15-year-old Romanian teenager living with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau
Belgian films made in Flanders corner the market and bring home the prizes.
‘Talent Matters’ is the familiar slogan for promoting Belgian films made in Flanders. And talent certainly matters for Belgian audiences, who turned out in impressive numbers for local films in 2013.
At home, almost two million moviegoers bought tickets to Flemish films in 2013 – a 17% increase on 2012. More impressively still, over three quarters of the national admissions for Belgian films were for movies made in Flanders.